It’s no secret that the term “fair and balanced” is no longer anything more than a catch phrase when it comes to traditional media. With a handful of large corporations owning all major North America media outlets, most information presented is first run through a slanted filter. Journalism has largely taken a backseat to sensationalism and unbiased reporting of the facts has turned into badly veiled commentary.
This is where the Internet was supposed to revolutionize things. Without the high costs of traditional media, the internet is supposed to be the last refuge of truly independent media, free from the meddling influence of corporate dollars. Although there is a large corporate presence online, they by no means hold a monopoly. With independent sources of information actually outnumbering those controlled by corporate interests many people find themselves using the Internet as their primary if not sole source of information.
As an information source however, the Internet is not without fault. Because the cost of publishing online is so low, anyone, regardless of experience or qualifications, can report as an expert. In order to find the informed independent reporting and opinions that we seek we have to first sift through layers and layers of what is essentially noise.
Because of this many people end up distrusting all forms of online media. Even here at HCW where we have a seven-year long history of unbiased, no nonsense reviews, we have been accused of being in the pockets of both Intel and AMD. Recently we have been separately accused of bias towards each of the three major gaming consoles currently on the market. Incredibly, these accusations were all based on the same article! The worst part is that this seems to be an overall increasing trend.
So what happens when everyone becomes so disillusioned by the state of the media that they trust absolutely no one, not even independent online publications? People will only read websites that agree with their already preformed opinions. Any website that publishes content contrary to these opinions are branded as either being on the take or full of crap. So instead of a readership that takes advantage of the network of independent, informed and intelligent media outlets to help shape their views, we end up with a readership broken up into disparate factions that trust no one, and interact online only with those that share their common views and opinions. If Al Gore were dead he’d be rolling over in his grave….